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Self-mastery, self-government or self-control is the indication of a foundation of a strong godly life, which brings spiritual growth and will produce fruit glorifying God. If we cannot govern ourselves and are mastered by our passions, our relationship with our fellowman or God will be erratic and even unstable with a life that may be marked by major excesses in habits or behaviour. The biblical writers of the New Testament use this word "self-mastery" in various ways. For example - to behave in an orderly manner, - to be sober, - serious, - sane, - sound-minded, - discreet, - self-disciplined, - prudent. - and moderate.

In context of a person controlling himself, Paul writes:


Romans 12:3 
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Titus 2:6 
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

1 Peter 4:7 
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

It would be reasonable to say if one has self-mastery (self-control), there would be evidence of a lifestyle that is reasonably balanced and having their passions under control.

Desire, Passion, Emotion are not wrong and should be evident in the Believer; otherwise one would be stoic or a robot. However, the Believer should be in control of them making proper use of these elements of our humanity that God has given us.

Self-mastery (self-control) is not about becoming a clone or coming under the domination of someone who may be a "control freak" or a controlling spirit within a religious circle; it is about bringing our life into conformity with the guidance's of God's word and the direction of the Holy Spirit whom dwells within each Believer individually.

God's salvation is clearly a process, and sanctification is part of this process. Sanctification is the in-between period after being Born Again - till we pass on into eternity or are taken up to meet Him in the sky.

Sanctification is something we cannot avoid if we are serious in our walk with God. Consider as early as Abraham, God's charge is.

Genesis 17:1 
"I am Almighty God; walk before Me, and be blameless"

Therefore, from the very outset we see God calling for sanctification and holiness to be essential to any relationship with Him. Abraham was called the "Father of Faith" as he was required to sanctify himself; therfore, how could we possibly think we would not be required to do the same? Are we not Abraham's Seed?

Galatians 3:29 
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Therefore being his children, surely things required of him are also required of us.

The Greek word hagiasmos, spoken as "hag-ee-as-mos" is translated "sanctification," "holiness," and "consecration." Moreover, indicates the process of being made, remaining, and progressing in holiness.


We must be careful to understand - just as the Israelites could not free themselves from Egypt, save themselves from the death angel, and part the Red Sea to be ready to make the covenant with God, neither can any man make himself holy. Sanctification is the result of God making someone holy.


2 Thessalonians 2:13 
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

1 Peter 1:2 
Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.


Though we cannot make ourselves holy, once God has made us holy. We become important players in whether we remain (sanctified) holy and progress in (sanctification) holiness. Once we are consecrated (set apart), as holy by God, our life's pilgrimage day to day in the Kingdom of God truly begins and remains in our hands by the choices we make.

At the best of time, Bible's terminology for most can become confused, for example, Justification and Sanctification is not the same thing.

Justification is a legal state or condition, which God, by His grace, declares us to be in because of our repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. It is righteousness (right standing with God), but it is imputed, (accounted, or bestowed) upon us; it is not based on any of our works. Justification clears the account of debt with God and frees us from the death penalty. It gives us peace with God and access to Him and the Holy Spirit. All these things come as a gift from Him.

Under sanctification, Christ's righteousness actually, literally becomes ours through the process of obedience, overcoming, prayer, study, producing fruit, sacrificing ourselves, serving, and being led and enabled by God's Holy Spirit, as God purifies our heart and infuses within us His divine nature -producing His image and holiness. Sanctification it is a process. In the process of sanctification is where works come into play, as Paul the Apostle exhorts (urges strongly). Work out your Salvation.

Philippians 2:12 - 13 
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Remember in the book of James the writer says:

James 2:14 
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

James 2:17 - 20 
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

James 2:22 - 24 
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Sanctification - activated and motivated by faith - is not merely believing and trusting what His Word says. Rather having a Faith that causes the "believer" to act on it or sacrifice because of it - yielding to God. Sanctification requires work - not to save us - but to ensure that God's creative process in us continues. Again, Sanctification will not over ride our free will as God has given the right to choose to do the right thing because it is right, because we love God and His way of life, and because they love each other. We can see sanctification with our eyes! It does not take a great deal of discernment. Anyone with the Holy Spirit resident within them sees whether a person is being sanctified.


What does the scripture mean by a sanctified man?

Sanctification is that inward, spiritual work that God works in us by His Holy Spirit when He calls us to be a son. He not only washes us from our sins by Christ's blood but also separates us from our carnality, working into our minds a new way of being, and doing which is heavenly and born of God. When we supernaturally received the Holy Spirit, God puts within us his Laws, no longer an outward influence, rather a force that works from within the heart of every true Believer.

Hebrews 8:10 
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

So now, we have God's way of being and doing within us and the freedom to now make choices, that is where Sanctification begins and ends "with our choices."

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